NEWS

In Brief

Forest protection

Police to help patrol Seikh Sou as gov’t recruits more firemen Thessaloniki police are to join fire service units in regular patrols of Seikh Sou, a forest on the outskirts of Thessaloniki which is littered with trash and other flammable materials that often kindle fires during spring and summer months, it was revealed yesterday. A group of 300 volunteers are to join efforts to protect the forest from litterbugs and likely arsonists, authorities said. Meanwhile in Athens Alternate Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis heralded the recruitment of an additional 553 firefighters to tackle forest fires around the country this season. Guards protest Prisons not secure, they say Prison guards across the country yesterday joined a 48-hour strike in protest at inadequate security measures at Greek penitentiary institutions. According to the president of the union representing the prison officers, Giorgos Kostikas, no action has been taken to improve security since serial robber Vassilis Palaiocostas and convicted Albanian murderer Alket Rizai escaped from Attica’s Korydallos jail by helicopter in February. The guards threatened further strikes if no action is taken. Costly flat A motorist who suffered a flat tire in the Stavroupoli area of Thessaloniki on Tuesday was robbed of a bag containing 40,000 euros by unidentified thieves, police said. The man had been busy changing his tire when the robbers struck, according to officers. It was unclear whether the thieves had known that the motorist had been carrying so much cash in his car. Quake victim A 29-year-old Greek student, who sustained serious injuries during the 6.3 Richter earthquake that struck L’Aquila in central Italy last month, was flown back to Greece yesterday. An Italian transport aircraft transferred the man, whose identity was not revealed, from Pescara where he was being treated to Elefsina military airport, where his parents and Deputy Defense Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis were waiting for him. The nature of the student’s injuries was unclear. Activists convicted A court in Thessaloniki yesterday handed down suspended sentences to three activists who broke into the office of the regional governor for Central Macedonia, Giorgos Tsiotras, in June 2007 and poured three sacks of gravel onto his floor. The stunt was intended as a protest at what they referred to as illegal «environmental interventions» in the area, the court heard. Each activist received a suspended five-month jail sentence. Drug haul Police in the central town of Trikala yesterday were questioning a 33-year-old motorist after a search of his vehicle, on the secondary road linking Trikala and Karditsa, turned up 5 kilos of cannabis in five packages. The man, a resident of the northern city of Grevena, is to face a prosecutor. Cards swiped Unidentified thieves yesterday made their way into a courier’s office in the central town of Trikala and grabbed a box of mobile telephone cards whose value exceeds 14,000 euros, police said. The cards had been due for delivery, according to staff who said the thieves entered through the back door.